Leaving school at the age of 15 with no real plan of what to do next can be a daunting experience for many young students. This was the scenario in which Rachel Faulkner found herself, so she decided to take a year out of education to consider the different career options available. Rachel used this time to focus on her real passion – art and also set out her future career aspirations – a profession in art and design.
Rachel’s first step was to join Bournville College, enrolling on the BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design. By the end of her course at Bournville, Rachel had developed a strong interest in fashion. In her original career plan Rachel had never considered the possibility of going to university, however with some words of encouragement from her tutors she decided to take their advice and seek a degree.
Rachel’s choice was the University of Wolverhampton and its BA (Hons) in Textiles and Fashion. During the course, she took part in exciting projects such as production of a clothing and accessories collection for the Clothes Show at the NEC and Andy Warhol’s prints for Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Rachel also designed a beautiful but complex piece of jewellery which required specialist cutting equipment to produce the item. When laser specialist Rofin-Baasel UK heard of her dilemma they were delighted to offer their services and laser cut the intricate patterns and features on her jewellery piece.
Rachel is due to finish her degree in a few weeks’ time and she is now in the process of preparing her final collection. This will be showcased in June at the forthcoming ‘New Designer’ show, to be held in London. Hopeful that her dream job is just round the corner now, Rachel reflected on her experience over the past few years: ‘When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do but looking back now, everything fitted together perfectly. I strongly believe that if I hadn’t come to Bournville College I wouldn’t be at university now. The BTEC course at Bournville was the starting point for it all. My art tutor was absolutely amazing. She encouraged me to aim higher than I’d ever imagined.’
Fiona Henderson, Curriculum Leader for Art and Design at Bournville College and Rachel’s tutor added: ‘I am delighted with Rachel’s achievements. I believed in her from day one and knew she had the ability to go all the way. This is what Bournville College is about – unlocking students’ true potential.’